Tells story of an adolescent who returns home late at night and neglects his school work. Pictures alternate methods of discipline being tried by his parents without success. Attempts to determine how much discipline is good for adolescents. Shows the results of both too little and too much parental control.
August 16, 2008 Subject:
What do you think?
Thought provoking film for the parents of the 1950's on how to discipline teenagers. It obviously seems that the parents must find a better way to communicate to their son and get him to understand why they are so concerned about his behavior. Well acted and directed.
Reviewer:Christine Hennig -
May 26, 2005 Subject:
Either Total Strictness or Total Lenience: You Decide
This is sort of a Centron discussion film for parents (though it was not made by Centron). Steves parents are worried about him because hes been staying out late every night, neglecting his schoolwork, and generally having a bad attitude about things. Steves mom, amazingly enough, wants to deal with this by ignoring it, because this tactic worked with the teenaged son of one of her friends. Steves dad is all for punishment, but he decides to try it Moms way after she talks him into it. Unfortunately, Steves behavior just gets worse, so Dad steps in and lays down the law, grounding Steve for a week and cutting off his allowance. This means Steve cant take his girlfriend to the big school dance, an end-of-the-world outcome for a 50s teen. So, while the narrator asks us what we think about Steves parents, we see Steve looking at the want ads, obviously in preparation for leaving home. Steves parents portray the simplistic parenting extremes of total lenience vs. unfairly harsh discipline, but I think thats supposed to be the point. The fact that its more complex than that is strongly implied, making this a more intelligent film than I was expecting. Of course, it would only really be valuable if intelligent discussion and guidance followed, which is not always how educational films were used. The films portrayal of 50s teen life is appealingly cornyit could have served as a model for the 70s Happy Days kind of idealized portraits of the 50s.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer:Steve Nordby -
January 30, 2004 Subject:
You're grounded - but here's the car keys in case you want to go out
Ironically silly music plays as the film opens and a explanation of it's rather more serious subject matter scrolls by.
Teenage Steve stays out late, skips church, and his grades are falling. Dad is annoyed and wants to get tough and punish him. Mom wants to ignore it. Dad goes along with Mom, but things get worse. Steve brags to his friends that he'd just leave home if his parents didn't let him do what he wants. Finally Dad gets tough, grounds him, cuts his allowance, and as the film ends, Steve is browsing the want-ads. Is he thinking about getting a job so he can leave home?
The announcer blames Steve's parents for creating a bad situation and asks "If you were Steve's parents, what would you do?" Then comes the advertisment for the other films in the "Adolescent Development" series.
Is the bad situation a result of Dad treating Steve as if he were still 9 years old? Of Mom's leniency? That they don't agree? That they keep changing the rules? A film meant to provoke discussion because it provides no answers. That may be a good thing. The film only once hints at an answer of how to discipline a teenager: in a malt shop conversation, one of Steve's friends says his parents actually *talked* to him and understood why he stayed out late the night before, but convinced him that staying out late wasn't a good idea.
A classic among the social guidance films, we follow the rebellious Steve as he stays out late at night, much to the chagrin of his parents. Pop wants to punish him, Mom says he'll apologize just like the nice boy he is. When he doesn't, and Steve does it again, Dad lays down the law, and grounds him and takes away his allowance. This prevents Steve from attending the school dance of course, and Steve makes a lame excuse to his friends to save face. Then Steve is even more distant from his parents because he's grounded. Who is to blame here? Well, of course that's up to you to decide, but it's hard not to label Steve as a whiney snot since he's ever so butch to his friends about not taking any flack from his parents, yet whines and takes his parents punishment withour saying anything, and keeps the grounding from his friends. A MUST SEE on this site!